Tag Archives: Agatha sweater

Well I’ll Be Damned – It’s A Sleeve!

28 Mar

so proud of my sleeve
Well, what ya look at that?

Argh, sleeve!
My sweater has a sleeve!

yeah, sleeve!
Sleeves are awesome!

I think it’s safe to say I’ve got a pretty good handle on knitting in the round. I still have some areas I would like to improve – namely, pulling the yarn between the needles (I’m still getting little gaps occasionally), but I feel pretty good about my progress. And hey, a sleeve came out of it! Short rows, knitting in the round, lacework… and all!

sleeve

It is a little tight, but not uncomfortably tight (I can still easily fit my hand between my arm & the sleeve). I’m not one to wear long sleeves (other than sweaters and hoodies), so I’m not too concerned about layers. And I haven’t blocked it yet, obviously, so I may be able to squeeze a little more room out of it.

back

lace!

decreasing at the elbow

I love the lacework & the decreasing at the elbow.

There are some boo-boos, though :(

:(

:(

But you know what? I think it’s pretty good for a first try! I’m trying not to think about the fact that now I have to knit the OTHER sleeve lol. At least I can get more practice out of it, I guess ;)

sleeve
SLEEVE.

As a side note, here is my next sewing project:
Next project - shirtwaist dress!
It doesn’t look like much, but there are actually 10 darts in that thing… and I haven’t even started the skirt yet. Eep.

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Creative Mush

8 Mar

It would seem that I am not the only one in the massive sewing blogosphere who has had a serious drop in sewing mojo recently. This happens to me from time to time, and I can’t help but get angry when I realize I’ve spent the past 3 nights vegging out on my couch instead of working on awesome crafty things. Not even knitting! MEH!

Part of what caused this standstill is my current work on the Pastille dress from the Colette Sewing Handbook. I swear this stupid dress has given me nothing but a headache (and thinning hair from where I pulled the rest of it out in total frustration). For starters, I cut my pattern out in a size 2 and added my normal FBA since the bust size for the 2 is only 34.5″, and my measurements are a couple inches bigger than that. Lo & behind, when I made up my first muslin… the bust was too big. I ended up not needing a FBA at all! WTF? I actually did recheck my measurements, and indeed my bust has not shrank down to a 34.5″ so I’m assuming there is a misprint with the finished measurements. By the way, do you know how hard it is to correct a FBA back to flat when you’ve already hacked & taped the pattern pieces (no, I don’t trace – but maybe I should start! It’s a SIGN)? I mean, assuming you’re one of those weirdos (aka: me) who would rather pull the tape off & try to smush everything back together instead of just putting the scissors to it again.

Anyway, muslin #2 revealed that this pattern gives me a swayback. WTF v2.0? I don’t have a swayback and I feel like I would have noticed this prior – especially considering the Quasimodo-proportions I got in my muslin. Unfgh. Upon lurking the site forum, this is not unusual for this pattern (before anyone gets terrified & swears off sewing the Pastille, let me point out that I’ve seen many of these dresses made up and most people did not seem to experience the weird swayback – I think it’s just the way some women’s bodies are shaped. Boo that it had to be mine!). My adjustment was very simple – I cut horizontal line through the back piece, at the ‘lengthen or shorten here’ line, and overlapped the pieces at an angle so they were 3/4″ at the center back, tapering to nothing at the side seams. I made one more muslin and the problem appears to be fixed. Fingers crossed.

navy/yellow floral cotton/rayon
I am making the dress up in this sweet little printed fabric – it’s a lovely cotton/rayon blend, and the print reminds me of a feedsack. Not entirely my style, but hey, I’m open to branching out! I like the tiny yellow flowers. I’m really into yellow right now, if you can’t tell.

I made a big mess of self-bias tape and initially planned on finishing the sleeves & neckline with that instead of facings. Folks… I don’t think this pattern can be faced with bias tape. There are too many curvy lines for the tape to lay properly flat. Believe me, I tried. But hey, on the bright side – I have lots of pretty bias tape for some other project! Haha!

So now we’re at the point where I haven’t touched the damn thing since Monday. To be frank, I haven’t even walked into my sewing room since Monday. When I get too frustrated, it’s better for me to dump everything in a pile & just ignore it for a few days until the steam lets off. That, or hide it in the UFO box :) I kid, I kid!

On the knitting front, I had a bit of turmoil when I finally started my sweater sleeves. I think this is the part of the pattern that the writer was referring to when she called this an intermediate to advanced knit – that shit is hard! Talk about total concentration! Not only am I knitting in the round (which, despite a few cozies, is still a relatively new skill for me), I have to follow a lace pattern *and* I’m working a bunch of short rows. And then the instructions dropped and just told me to “continue working short rows until you reach the marker,” meaning I have to either count or actually recognize what a short row looks like. Nope, no ma’am!

It’s times like these when I’m glad I have Mika to save my desperate ass every time I reach a confusing point in the pattern & suddenly turn stupid. Poor girl has gotten a lot of frantic emails from me, but she’s been super super helpful & I definitely would not have made it past the swatch stage without her guidance.

Anyway, sewing & knitting frustrations aside, I made an apple cozy over the weekend:
Apple Cozy
It is completely unnecessary & ridiculous, so obviously I love it a lot.

Who else is having a bummer of a week? Alternatively, who is having a GREAT week & would like to rub it in?

We’ve Officially Reached Sweater Vest Territory!

1 Mar

First of all, I want to thank y’all for all your amazing comments on my gingham Peony post. I basically spent the entire day (and the next day, and the next day), blushing like a little kid. I also got pinned all over Pinterest which was kind of exciting all on it’s own. You are all so sweet! Way to make a girl feel like a sewing champion lol :)

Today, we are going to discuss knitting. I have sweater progress to share! This is a big deal~

Agatha Sweater
SERIOUSLY OMG EXCITING

I am SO EXCITED that this little shit actually fits me! I mean, obviously it should – I made soo many gauge swatches haha. But I was still pretty apprehensive – there is about 2″-3″ of negative ease, so pre-blocked (this is still pre-blocked, fyi), it’s pretty tiny. I was afraid to try and pull it on while it was still on the needles (and too scared to pull it off the needles onto scrap yarn), so I waited until I finished the ribbing. It fits! It fits!

Agatha Sweater
Look at how cool the side decreasing is!

Agatha Sweater
The back looks good too! I could have bound off a little more loosely, but oh well!

Agatha Sweater
I hope my excitement is just radiating out of this post.

Agatha Sweater
One more sweater picture! All that is left is the sleeves & the ribbing around the neck and where the buttons go. And then blocking, of course.

The sleeves are knit in the round. For those of you who are newbies to my corner of the internet, I only learned how to knit over Thanksgiving… and upon starting this sweater, hadn’t quite mastered knitting in the round (or even attempted it, to be honest). I made an executive decision that I would finish the sweater up to the sleeves, and then figure out this multiple needle shit (I know, I know, “magic loop” or whatever, but I want to try double pointed needles first!). I bought some bamboo needles & sat down with my knittin’ buddy on Tuesday night to try it out. I’m not gonna lie – joining those stitches in the round was hard. It took me something stupid like 15 minutes to join 2 stitches. At one point – I shit you not – I actually forgot how to knit. HAHA. But once I got started, it was surprisingly easy. I made a little tube that I later discovered fits my iPod perfectly…

It's an iPod cozy!
(It’s the correct size, I just wanted to show you that an iPod is in there!)
So that’s my first knitting in the round project! I want to make one more thing, because I still need a little more practice – there are a couple of holes where I didn’t pull the yarn tight enough between needles. Ooops! But I think it’s pretty good for a first attempt, yeah? :)

Next mini-project
My next project is going to be a coffee cozy, and I’m going to make it out of this ugly-ass yarn :) I love knitting in the round! COZIES FOR EVERYTHING.

On a COMPLETELY unrelated note – I biked to work this morning! First commute-to-work bike ride since winter started :D
Biked to work this morning :)
This is my halfway point – the Shelby Street Bridge! Isn’t it lovely? It’s a pedestrian bridge, so there’s always a lot of foot/bike traffic going on. I love how pretty the city looks from here! See that weird red thing in the right hand corner? Unfortunately, it’s not a roller coaster – it’s a completely useless sculpture called Ghost Ballet and it’s ugly as shit. I don’t know any Nashvillians who actually think this thing wasn’t a waste of taxpayer money. Blech.

But nevermind that, look at the rest of the bridge.
Shelby Street Bridge
YEP.

Agatha Sweater
This is me saying, “Well shit, I just knitted a vest-thing.”

Completed: Another Stripey Renfrew Top

17 Feb

Didn’t see this one coming, did ya? :)

I bought this stripey jersey fabric on my last big fabric excursion, right before I enabled The Ban. Actually, I bought it because I *thought* it was navy/white striped, but upon closer inspection it would appear to favor black over navy. Oh well! Anyway, this top was screaming to be a Renfrew – so there ya go! I’m clearly not the only person who wanted their Renfrew to be stripey-delicious, although mine is a little different because I didn’t cut my bands out of the stripey fabric. Solid black over here!

I did save my stripey pieces, though, so watch out for them – they may end up banding a solid colored shirt :)

Stripey
Not much else to report here – it’s a tshirt, and I made it up (cutting included!) in less than 2 hours. LOVE.

Stripey
I’m actually pretty surprised I got the stripes on the sleeves (mostly)matched up with the stripes on the body. That definitely was not something I made an effort towards.

Stripey
The sides match up until about 3″ below the armpits. I think anyone who is staring at my armpits long enough to realize that the stripes don’t match up has bigger problems than me, just sayin’.

Stripey

Stripey - topstitching
I managed to get a much more clear shot of the double-needle topstitching.

SO MUCH LOVE FOR THIS PATTERN, Y’ALL.

In other news – I signed up for a Twitter account! Actually, I think Twitter is kind of stupid but since I don’t really venture into blogland on the weekends, I like the idea of having Twitter around for communication. So please add me – I went through a few fellow sewists friends lists and added 6 people (and Pee Wee Herman because, well, why not?) but then I got overwhelmed and gave up. And now my only follower is some spambot who keeps tweeting about sex & debt, ew. So if you have Twitter, let’s follow each other! I’m LLLLADYBIRD!

Also, check out my sweater progress -
Agatha sweater - right side
Kinda looks like a tiny vest, amirite?

Agatha sweater - on form
I put it on my form, but my circular needles are just barely long enough to knit this comfortably, so I didn’t stretch it to pull across the front. So here’s the back! I’ve knitted a few rows since taking this picture – that yarn-butt on the shoulder is now part of the sweater, and I’ve officially started my second ball of yarn :) Yay!

Ok, I’m going to go figure this Twitter thing out some more.

Stripey

Happy Friday! :D

Agatha Sweater – Finally, Progress!

2 Feb

For a couple hours a day (mostly on my lunch break and while unwinding before bed), I’ve been knitting up the back of my Agatha sweater. We had a very very rough start – for some reason, I kept mixing up the rows and having to rip my work. It always happened at row 10, too. I frogged the entire thing 6 times (maybe 7 – I stopped counting because I started getting mad!). It was very frustrating, especially since this particular section casts on 69 stitches. 69 stitches + 10 rows – that’s a LOT of re-knitting! UUGHHHGHHHHHH!!

Anyway, we made peace on Tuesday and I was able to jump over the hurdle of 10 and start exploring new knitting territory. And by “exploring new knitting territory,” I mean I repeated rows 10 & 11 seventeen times each. Ha! But you know – the back looks gorgeous and I’m really excited to be almost finished with it!

Agatha - back
Here is my progress as of, oh, about 10 minutes ago. This sweater is knit top-down, so you are looking at the back right-side up.

Agatha - lace pattern
Despite how much I wanted to destroy things every time I gave up & frogged, I actually think it was good that I worked the lace pattern over and over – my stitches are pretty even!

Agatha - lace pattern & ribbing
Once you get past the first 3 or 4 rows and the pattern actually starts to show in your knitting (lol I just started to type “shitting” right there GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF, LAUREN), it is much much much easier because you can follow the pattern based on what you already knitted, instead of getting to the end of the row and realizing you missed a bunch of stitches and have to unknit all 69 of the little buggers… not that I know anything about that.

Agatha - Back
Following the pattern can be a little difficult, since you are following lace panel rows in addition to the regular ol’ rows that make up the rest of the sweater. I found it very helpful to stick post-it notes under the row I was following, so I wouldn’t accidentally follow row 6 when I was supposed to be on row 7 (this is where the majority of those first mistakes happened. Ouch!). Once you start knitting short rows, the lace panel rows don’t match up with the rest of the rows, so the post-it notes were VERY helpful with keeping me on track with everything.

Anyway, I feel really good about my sweater & the progress I’ve made. It is REALLY fun to knit – just complicated enough to keep it interesting, but not so complicated that I feel like I can’t do it. Hopefully I will be starting the front panels within the next day or so – and once I get farther into those, I can actually try it on!

For those of you knitting along (Agatha or not!) – how are you coming along with your sweaters? :)

Oh! One more thing -
Buttons!
I got the buttons to my coat last night :) I had to have them made since those kits you buy at the fabric store at totally shitty. These are really nice – the lady uses a machine, and I don’t think I could pull them apart if I tried! I had an extra made just in case :)

Coat pictures to come soon – Monday, perhaps? :)

Join Us For A Knit-Along!

24 Jan

Remember when I said I was going to knit me up an Agatha sweater as my first big project? Turns out Mika is also knitting the same sweater, and suggested we do a lil’ knit-along for anyone else who wants to join! You don’t have to knit the Agatha sweater if you aren’t feelin’ it (although the pattern is only $6.50 on Ravelry!) – first sweaters are welcome too! I don’t know about y’all but I am needing a lot of hand-holding during this process :) And here’s the fun part – unlike me, Mika is not a knitting n00b, and she has graciously offered to answer any questions you may have about knitting your first sweater.

If you want to join us, we’d love your company! Join the Flickr Group and stick the badge on your blog! If you just want to watch this ’round, that’s ok too :) This is a pretty informal/flexible knit-along – I personally don’t plan to be completed for at least a couple of months.

Speaking of sweaters – I have more swatches! Ahh I am so sick of swatching! I think I finally got gauge, though :)
knit swatch, finally got gauge!
Lace swatch

another swatch
Ribbing swatch

So yay! Thanks again for all your help with my first batch of swatches – I had to go down to a 5 to get gauge. Now I’m ready to knit :)

In coat news – I finished the lining last night, yay! Started to sew the buttons on and every single one of them broke, boo! Cheap ass covered buttons, guh. I did, however, find a local source that will cover my buttons for me with a machine… the only drawback is there is at least a week processing time. So we are pushing back the coat unveiling and I would say I’m sorry but I’m really not because I demand perfect buttons.

In the meantime, Amelia seems to think my coat is a suitable cat bed:
Amelia
She knows what she is doing is wrong. You can see the guilt in her eyes.

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